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Student-run a cappella group Ladies First prepares for 'Spring Showcase'


Senior Hannah Naddy belts during Ladies First's rehearsal of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston. Ladies First, one of IU's a cappella groups, rehearsed Monday, March 5, in the Simon Music Center.  Matt Begala Buy Photos

Ladies First, IU’s all-female a cappella group, will perform its “Spring Showcase” at 8 p.m., March 23, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. 

The award-winning group has produced six albums and has been feature at events such as IU Dance Marathon, the Indiana Governor's Conference for Women, and more, according to their website.

The groups two-hour March 23 program will include songs such as “Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston, as well as songs by Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Alicia Keys and from the Broadway show "Dear Evan Hansen." The show will honor seniors with a solo performance. It is the last show many of them will participate in.

The group is advised by Constance Cook Glen, director of music in general studies at the Jacobs School of Music. However, Elise Castro, business director of Ladies First, said the group produces every element of the show themselves, including arranging their own covers. 

Hannah Naddy, senior and music director of Ladies First, said while most of the singers have musical experience, the group's more senior members will train less experienced singers who may not yet have proficiency in skills such as reading music.

Senior Monte Parker, the group’s music director, said she finds being a part of the group highly rewarding, also noting the real-world skills gained by producing, rehearsing and marketing a show.

“It’s my first term and I’m learning skills and they're really broadening my horizons about competent management, dealing with peers and interpersonal skills,” Parker said.  

The group, which generally practices seven hours a week and even more when they have a show coming up, is a significant time commitment for students not majoring in music. 

“We don’t have a single music student at all. The closest we get is arts management, music minors, theater minors,” said Naddy, who studies arts management. “We have neuroscience majors. We have business majors. We have arts management majors. We have journalism. We have accounting.”

Castro said that the students come from many different backgrounds out of a shared love for making.

“That’s something we really pride ourselves on,” Castro said.

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